June 4th, 2020
During the summer of 2020, people came together to demonstrate their frustrations and anguish after the painful death of George Floyd in police officers’ hands in Minneapolis, MN. In Philadelphia, there were reports of looting, violent protests, and destruction to business establishments amid the civil unrest. The Philadelphia Police Department, alongside the National Guard, was called to patrol the streets in different parts of Philadelphia. The coloring applied to this image emphasizes the historical relevance of the image. Even though we live in the 21st century and expect that the justice system has improved since the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, people of color are still subject to racial profiling. They are ultimately killed by “a few bad apples” in authority. Though this image does not capture an active protest, it does capture one of the consequences of the protests. Many police enforcement and the National Guard are patrolling the streets in broad daylight to ensure that the streets are peaceful for the time being. Ultimately, this image brings awareness to the situation and tells a heavy story of injustice and the consequence.
June 4th, 2020
During the summer of 2020, residents within the Philadelphia area took part in the civil unrest after the tragic death of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, MN. The news broadcasted many violent protests within Philadelphia, capturing people looting stores, setting fires to buildings, and clashing with law enforcement. Many establishments were boarded-up to secure their products and the business itself during the riots. Within this image, three shopping carts are turned upside-down and used as a barricade to prevent cars from entering the shopping center closed due to the riots. As mentioned, business owners took the initiative to board-up their establishments to prevent looters from breaking into their businesses. Within this image, there are multiple establishments within the boarded-up shopping center, preventing anyone from accessing the stores. The sunlight shines down on the hard, cracked concrete and the upside-down shopping carts, upholding the metaphor that the world has turned upside down due to a tragic situation that has caused much agony throughout the nation. The coloring adds a dramatic effect to the powerful meaning behind the image itself—global devastation. The protests also occurred during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a deadly virus that has taken more than 2.8 million death worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Thus, the cracks of the ground and the upside-down shopping carts not only represent a world gone mad from police brutality but also from the frustrations of living during a global pandemic.
THE CITY THAT LOVES YOU BACK
June 4th, 2020
Philadelphia—also referred to as “The City of Brotherly Love.” The irony is that not everyone feels the love from the city. Gun violence, drug trafficking, gentrification, defunding educational programs, closing down schools, and homelessness are not ideal signs of “love.” A stranger sits alone at a bus stop within this image, bare-footed. Above his head is a local university campaign sign with the motto: “Explorers Are Never Lost.” The word “Lost” is clearly shown above his head. Also, the stranger sits slouched on the bench of the bus stop with his head down. Two signs behind the bus stop are settled on the gate and are tone along the ends. Meanwhile, the background buildings are up-to-date, nicely built, and there is hardly any sight of litter on the ground. The phrase “All That Glitters Is Not Gold” perfectly fits this image. The background buildings are kept nice, and the ground appears to be clean. However, the stranger is homeless with nowhere to go, and the way the signs drape over the gate with torn ends shows that it is important to look closer into the reality of situations. The word “Lost,” standing out on the side of the image above the stranger’s head, sets the tone to the image—hopelessness and a cry for help. While Philadelphia is known as “The City of Brotherly Love,” where is the love when people are evicted from their homes and children are unable to receive a proper education?
September 24, 2019
Mental health is essential, and this image is a personal reflection on the outlook on depression and anxiety. Like flowers, people tend to set themselves to look pretty and put-together on the outside, but on the inside, there is a battle that no one else can see, and it is hard to overcome. The only way others can know about internal battles is when people show signs of their hardships—like a wilted flower. Nevertheless, while the image was initially all Black-and-White, there is always room for hope. Thus, the center flower has a touch of color, symbolizing hopefulness.
Nevertheless, the entire flower is not in color since mental health stigma can still cause hardship on an individual, making it difficult for people to speak up honestly about their well-being. The image well reflects the concept of mental health, with the darkness clashing with the light. However, light usually prevails, giving that glimmer of hope for individuals unsure of themselves. Personally, this image is empowering, debunking the stigma of mental illness by having a creative spin on something that was initially dark and grungy by adding a colorful flower that separates itself from the other flowers.
MÍO PARA SIEMPRE / ‘FOREVER MINE’
November 1, 2020
It is hard to believe that having an undying love for someone can be possible. Sometimes, it is true—especially it comes to soulmates’ passion. In honor of el Día de Los Muertos, this image captures the love of two soulmates, even after death. Like a flame, the roses’ bouquet symbolizes the burning passion and love between the two figures, which is why it is in color, unlike the rest of the image. The roses purposely uphold the meaning of “endless love”, even with the two skeletons gazing and caressing each other. The purpose of the image to show that love has no bounds. Love carries beyond the flesh and can be offered even in the after-life by honoring and remembering loved ones—hence the purpose of el Día de Los Muertos. Furthermore, while the image has a grungy tone, the bouquet’s brightness establishes the bliss at the moment since roses represent “love” and “passion”.